Glen Campbell died today at the age of 81 after a six-year bout with Alzheimer’s disease, according to Rolling Stone.
Normally, when a celebrity dies, the obituary will say what he or she was “best known for.” In Campbell’s case, just focusing on his hit songs, like “Wichita Lineman” and “Rhinestone Cowboy,” sells him short.
In addition to his work as a singer, he was also a songwriter, a television host, an actor and a guitar player. On that last bit, his skills were so formidable that when he left session work to focus on a solo singing career, people thought he was nuts.
Of course, the solo career ended up being the right move after all. In a career spanning more than 50 years, he sold approximately 45 million records and placed on the Billboard Country Chart, the Billboard Hot 100 and the Adult Contemporary Chart, reaching number one on each of them. In 1967 he won four Grammys in the country and pop categories, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 and played his final show in 2012.
There are two documentaries currently available that Campbell’s fans should see, or even just people who are curious about him. One is 2014’s “I’ll Be Me,” which documented the singer’s farewell tour and medical treatment. The other is 2008’s “The Wrecking Crew,” which tells the story of the elite group of studio musicians that Campbell was a part of before embarking on a solo career.
Oh, and before you start to feel too bad about Glen Campbell, just remember that he got to bang Tanya Tucker.
So Glen Campbell, The Z Review salutes you. Fare thee well.